Galveston County’s representative in Washington, D.C. will not be going in front of a town hall full of constituents during this week’s Congressional recess.

U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, a Republican from Alvin, has no live town halls planned during the current Congressional recess, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

“Like all district work periods, Congressman Weber will be engaging constituents during events throughout the district,” Elizabeth-Burton Jones, Weber’s communications director, said. “Our offices do not have town halls scheduled this week.”

Congress broke for its recess, also known as a district work period, last Friday. It is scheduled to go back in session on Feb. 27.

Weber, whose district includes Galveston, Brazoria and Chambers counties, is hardly alone in avoiding town halls. The Texas Tribune reported that only one Texas Congressman, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat, had publicly announced plans for a town-hall meeting.

Around the country, town hall meetings hosted by Republicans have become flashpoints in places like Arkansas and Utah, where people opposed to President Donald Trump have turned out in large numbers to question and criticize representatives about their agendas.

In response to Weber’s choice not to hold an event, one Beaumont group, Golden Triangle Indivisible, planned to hold a town-hall meeting in Weber’s name, but without him.

{span}”Although we will all likely be speaking to an empty podium, we plan to read our questions, record the event on video, and encourage Representative Weber to respond to our concerns, now and in the future,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.{/span}

Indivisible groups are liberal “resistance” groups founded after Trump’s election. The groups have organized things such as phone drives and letter-writing campaigns to try to influence elected officials to act against Trump.

Weber did return to his district during the recess. He and his wife attended a Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner hosted by the Brazoria County Republican Party in Lake Jackson on Feb. 18. On Wednesday, he attended a 40th anniversary celebration at Texas First Bank in Texas City.

Weber also met with the Texas Department of Transportation to discuss upcoming projects in his district and with local veterans from Galveston and Texas City to talk about VA issues, Jones said.

Some constituents who have reached out to Weber’s office said that future town hall meetings, or telephone conference meetings, would be announced on his social media pages. None have been scheduled yet, Jones said.

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnews.com. Follow him on Twitter, @johnwferguson.

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(9) comments

JD Arnold

No townhall meetings are not a real concern to me. However, the fact that this newspaper does not hold regular sit down Q&A's with our representatives does concern me. Quarterly interviews should not be unreasonable. This paper knows all of the relevant questions to ask and more people would be served than any townhall would ever reach.

Gary Scoggin

Right on point, Jay. The GDN could do a much better job of holding our elected representatives accountable on the issues of the day. For example, is Weber a repeat and replace, repeal then replace, or repeal only kind of guy? I have no idea and there's nothing on his website to indicate this. And if he wants to replace Obamacare, what are the parameters of a system he would be willing to support? I'm not advocating any one path here but Weber has to have thought this out and his constituents should know where he stands.

Diane Turski

Our elected officials are supposed to be meeting with their constituents! I agree that a newspaper interview would be a good idea! Ask the questions that these cowardly elected officials who refuse to meet with their constituents are afraid to answer! I believe in accountability!

David Alquest

Dear Mr. Ferguson:
Thank you for the information in Friday’s February 24, 2017 Galveston Daily News in your article “Weber has no plans for town hall meetings.” Some people will now be aware that Weber isn’t representing ALL of his constituents by showing his cowardly self to avoid difficult question which would reveal his and his cronies' personal beliefs. (I think of Louie Gohmert who is hiding out and blaming Liberals for his problems). Weber wouldn’t want an angry crowd opposing and shaming his baseless actions before the public; he would have no answers.
I am in the very small minority in Galveston County that opposes his far Right approach to almost everything: xenophobia, homophobia, anti environmental, anti-trans, ultra religious, anti education, anti welfare, anti intellectual - the list goes on. Instead, he will support his affluent class with tax breaks and legislation that will protect his ilk.
At first reading, I took issue with your comment on “Indivisible groups are liberal resistance groups….” That presented the belief that all of these Town Hall meetings are stirred up by liberal thinking people only; the perception that Texas Representatives want everyone to believe. You may not have presented it that way, but I thought it was out of balance with the truth - that a vast majority of constituents who complain about his voting are grass roots local citizens. Many do not want to drop the Affordable Care Act (with nothing else in place for them), support religious and home schools with their tax money, want to build a wall, want to split up their Latino neighbors who have lived next door for years, set up a 287g program to put local police in charge of immigration, put prayer back in school, deny transgendered children a bathroom (while still denying all poor children Federal insurance coverage).
As I stated, I find that my progressive beliefs are not evident anywhere in Galveston except for a few supportive and cautious words from the Mayor.
Thanks for the article.

Gary Scoggin

Waiting for the knives to come out in 3.... 2.... 1..... [scared]

Dwight Burns

David, you hit the nail on the head.

Joe Henry

Randy Weber works for us. We pay him. If he is afraid to meet his constituents then he needs to be replaced.

Brenda Bock

I called his office last week to ask what role he had in the Lords of the Sea aka Katy's Seafood issues since it was reported he accepted campaign donations to limit other commercial fishermen & recreation fishermen from a fair share of the Red Snapper catch. So far, he or his office has not called me back. There was an investigative report on New Orleans TV last week about the Lords of the Sea and how a very few of the entitled commercial fishermen have acquired millions as a possible result of campaign donations. Suggest others call his office too and ask why he helped to build this fishing monopoly at the expense of all other fishermen.

Carlos Ponce

I have spoken with Randy several times. Randy has spoken at local high school commencements (I have the video), Chamber of Commerce events (I had a picture taken with Randy) and attended other local civic functions.No "town halls" but I do get to talk with him personally. He's a good man doing a good job. Maybe some need to see what's going on before casting stones. Do I have special access to the congressman others don't? No, I'm just an ordinary citizen talking with my congressman.

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